Photo by Darwin Davidson
With success of 2013’s Lonely Comes Easy, their first all-new collection since 2009’s Cloud Of Dust, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers are thrilled to announce a new live album, Live At The Old Feed Store, to be independently released October 7, 2014. T
“The critically-acclaimed vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter behind Chris Jones & the Night Drivers has one of the most distinctive voices in bluegrass, a smooth, low croon that goes down like whiskey with a little bit of honey,” writes The Bluegrass Situation’s Brittney McKenna in a recent interview. Joining Chris Jones as the Night Drivers are bassist Jon Weisberger, mandolin player Mark Stoffel, and banjo whiz Ned Luberecki.
Musically, Live At The Old Feed Store will feature originals like “Battle of the Bands” (a soon-to-be-released single co-written by Night Driver Jon Weisberger and previously recorded by Chris for The 1861 Project), “Like a Hawk” and “Follow Your Heart”, the latter of which was co-written by Chris Jones and features guest vocalist Sally Jones. The album also offers concert staples like “Bound To Ride,” “Cabin Of Death” and “Edelweiss,” along with a new version of a George Jones song (“I Cried Myself Awake”) that Chris first recorded more than 20 years ago as a member of the Special Consensus. Emily Bankester of The Bankesters is also a guest on the original song “Then I Close My Eyes.” The album was recorded at one of the band’s favorite intimate venues, the Old Feed Store in Cobden, IL, on two successive nights in the summer of 2013 and mixed by Mark Stoffel.
Chris Jones and the Night Drivers are honored to have passed onto to the 2nd ballot for the IBMA Awards in the categories of Entertainer of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, and Album of the Year (Lonely Comes Easy). Also making the 2nd ballot are Chris Jones for Male Vocalist of the Year, Ned Luberecki for Banjo Player of the Year, and Jon Weisberger as Bass Player of the Year. After this 2nd voting period is over, the final ballot will be announced in mid-August, which the IBMA members will vote on the nominees by early September.
Although the band’s “low lonesome”-singing frontman founded the group back in the mid-1990s, Engine 145’s Henry Carrigan notes, “…in recent years the group has enjoyed growing acclaim not only for its deft musicianship and love of traditional music but also to its musical inventiveness and the songwriting genius of the group’s various members.” This past year, the band has had nine songs charting in Bluegrass Today‘s monthly chart, with five songs hitting the Top 5, including three rising to #1.
Chris Jones and the Night Drivers will be on tour this summer and fall. In mid-August they play the Targhee Bluegrass Festival in WY and the Red Clay Bluegrass Festival on Prince Edward Island in Canada. At the end of August they hop onto the Bourbon & Bluegrass Steamboat Tours, from St Louis to Cincinnati and back again, for two special river tours that offer a rare opportunity to experience the dynamic blend of historic discovery, toe-tapping bluegrass and the finest distilleries on the Bourbon Trail. Upon return to solid land, the group hits the road again towards the ends of September for shows at Bean Blossom, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival and the Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia. They’ll also be traveling for a European tour for ten days in October.
Earlier this year, they traveled from Montana to Kansas to New England–not necessarily in that order–as well as points in between, with stops at Big Sky Big Grass, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Merlefest, DelFest, Bluegrass on the Plains in Auburn, AL and the Huck Finn Jubilee near Los Angeles. Big Sky Big Grass gets the award for the biggest on-stage jams with the Sam Bush Band, Jones played The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek.”Luberecki was also part of MerleFest’s First ever BanjoRama which was hosted by “Dr. Banjo” Pete Wernick.
Chris Jones & the Night Drivers on Tour
8/10 Sun – Targhee Bluegrass Festival – Alta, WY
8/15-16 Fri-Sat – Red Clay Bluegrass Festival – Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada
8/29-9/6 – “Bourbon & Bluegrass” American Steamboat Tours – St Louis (Alton, IL) – Cincinnati, OH
9/5-9/13 – “Bourbon & Bluegrass” American Steamboat Tours – Cincinnati, OH – St Louis (Alton, IL)
9/24 Wed – Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival – Bean Blossom, IN
9/25 Thu – Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival, Roanoke, NC
9/27 Sat – Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival, Vine Grove, KY
10/2 Thu – IBMA World of Bluegrass, Roe Entertainment Showcase
10/10 Fri – Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Museum of Appalachia – Norris, TN
10/11 Sat – Germantown Street Festival – Nashville, TN
10/18-28 – European Tour
11/15-16 Sat- Sun – Wickenburg Bluegrass & Fiddle Championship – Wickenburg, AZ
12/12: Bluegrass in the Smokies, Pigeon Forge, TN